Yeah, Ya’ll Not Going To Be Tree Stumps

My parents really thought that they could get away with turning into tree stumps. Nah, son. If there’s something I can do about it, I’m going to do it. What’s the point of me living well if they have to sacrifice themselves in the process?

If there’s a way for all of us to win, then let’s win.

On the Offense

Man, I low-key wanted to go to medical school because I like it when people are taken care of. I like it when things are as simple as “You need something? Here, I got something for you.” I just like that. But a desire like that — it’s not enough to justify nine years of study.

The main motivation was obviously money. Not for anybody else, not even future wifey, but for parents. They can’t retire without me. They just can’t. And if I’m being honest, many of you guys are in the same position. You just don’t know because you haven’t done the math.

I did the math; they can’t do it. But thankfully, I was born.

Not too long ago, I was super-anxious — all the time. Anytime things didn’t go well, the future I imagined for fam would change. It’s like I was a time traveler that went to the past to change the future. I had a camera gadget set-up in a nasty retirement home, and any time I failed, my parents would suddenly appear in rusty wheelchairs.

But somewhere along the line, I gradually learned to stop being entitled to certain realities. I don’t deserve to live well. But what’s more painful to accept, but absolutely critical, is that my parents don’t deserve to live well either. What? You think just because you’re good people — just because you worked hard that you deserve to retire by seventy or even eighty? Nah, no one is owed anything, not even you guys.

Once, I accepted that — everything became easy. Now, I’m on the motherfucking offense. There’s no cowering. There’s no complaining. I just keep on trying, failing, attempting, saving, and investing.

Strengths and Weaknesses

But, I’m not just filled with blind confidence. I had to be practical about my strengths and weaknesses. When I thought them through, I have to tell you that the list for my weaknesses was appallingly long. I’m not going to lie. I really struggled with them, especially with the ones that I can’t change. They were simply a part of how I was born.

The moment I stopped caring about those things — yes — everything became easy. So, let’s get on the offense and focus on our strengths. It’s a waste of time to do anything otherwise.

Think with me. Do you even remember when and where you had negative thoughts — all of them? It’s similar to being unable to remember what you ate for dinner. Your sure that you ate but not exactly what. Why not replace that hole in your memory with something positive that’s bursting with good energy?

So, what are my strengths? Well, I’m creative. I have a tendency to create things without being asked to. It’s something that comes naturally. And then, um…. Look, there are other things, I promise you.

The point is this. If my strengths and weaknesses ever went to war, my strengths will utterly eradicate, annihilate, obliterate my weaknesses. Every single time. Always. And the thing about strengths is that they can be improved on. This makes victory even swifter.

If you could destroy anything in one punch. Awesome.

Strip Away Everything

More than two months ago, I read Haruki Murakami’s Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. There was a particularly gruesome scene, in which a Japanese spy was being skinned alive. Despite the pain, he didn’t reveal the whereabouts of stolen documents.

Made me ask: “What are we when we’re stripped of everything?”

If I lose my family, friends, and health — things that have happened and are happening right now — what’s left? If I lose my limbs, my hearing, my eyesight, what’s left?

This is an extreme example, so the right answer is Michael Scott. Deep inside, Michael Scott lives in all of us. Lmao, just kidding. I’ve never even finished the first season, so I’m not sure why his name popped up.

Anyway, when we’re stripped of everything, what’s left is an undying spirit. I know I sound like an anime character, but it’s still true. If you don’t believe that, I want you to believe that. And the crazy thing is that it’s really fun when you let it run. It makes you feel all intense but in a good way. It’s great.

Because you and I — we’re not like other people. When we can’t run, we get down on the mud and crawl. Despite it all, the cuts and burns, there’s still a smile on your face. They don’t get it, but I do. We’re out here for the kill.




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